Arctic Geology (AG)

The unique geology of Svalbard and its present-day cryosphere provide superb opportunities to study geoscience. The Arctic Geology courses at UNIS are therefore built to take full advantage of having a high Arctic field setting on our doorstep. Hands-on field activities are closely integrated with state-of-the-art classroom education and, during your stay, you will become part of a vibrant international geology and physical geography community of Arctic-focused research.

The geological evolution of Svalbard is recorded in spectacular geological sequences spanning the Precambrian to the Cenozoic, and overlain by Quaternary glacial and interglacial deposits. Easily accessible outcrops make it possible to demonstrate the interplay of continental drift with tectonic, glacial, periglacial, coastal, fluvial, and marine sedimentary processes.

There is, for instance, a long history of past climate variations in Svalbard’s geological record. There are pre-Cambrian glacial tills that formed when Svalbard was located on the Southern Hemisphere, organic rich Mesozoic rocks which were deposited at equatorial latitudes, and Quaternary glacial and interglacial marine and terrestrial deposits from its recent Arctic situation. Large parts of the archipelago are currently covered by glaciers, and there is continuous permafrost within ice-free areas, and even below some of the glaciers. The close proximity of present-day geological, glacial, periglacial, marine, and terrestrial processes provides an exciting field laboratory as the basis for study.

Bachelor course combinations

Autumn semester

Spring semester

AG-210 and AG-211

AG-209 and AG-222

AG-204 and AG-221

Recommended workload is 30 ECTS per semester.

Bachelor Courses overview

ID Course Name Duration Start Date
AG-204 AG-204 The Physical Geography of Svalbard (15 ECTS) Autumn semester (August–December), annually. August 12, 2019
AG-209 AG-209 The Tectonic and Sedimentary History of Svalbard (15 ECTS) Spring semester (January–June), annually. January 8, 2020
AG-210 AG-210 The Quaternary and Glacial Geology of Svalbard (15 ECTS) Autumn semester (August–November/December), annually. August 5, 2019
AG-211 AG-211 Arctic Marine Geology (15 ECTS) Autumn semester (August–November/December), annually. August 5, 2019
AG-218 AG-218 International Bachelor Permafrost Summer Field School (10 ECTS) Autumn semester (June–July) annually. June 11, 2019
AG-220 AG-220 Environmental Change in the High Arctic Landscape of Svalbard (10 ECTS) Autumn semester (July–August), annually. July 15, 2019
AG-221 AG-221 Arctic Physical Geographical Field Techniques (15 ECTS) Autumn semester (August–December), annually August 12, 2019
AG-222 AG-222 Integrated Geological Methods: From Outcrop to Geomodel (15 ECTS) Spring semester (January–May), annually. January 8, 2020

Master Courses overview

ID Course Name Duration Start Date
AG-322 AG-322 Fold and Thrust Belts and Foreland Basin Systems (10 ECTS) Spring semester (April - May), every second year. Next course: 2020 April 15, 2020
AG-323 AG-323 Sequence Stratigraphy – a Tool for Basin Analysis (10 ECTS) Autumn semester (August–September), every second year. Next course: 2021 August 2, 2019
AG-325 AG-325 Glaciology (10 ECTS) Spring semester (February–March) annually. February 3, 2020
AG-326 AG-326 Quaternary Glacial and Climate History of the Arctic (10 ECTS) Autumn semester (September–October), every second year. Next course: 2020 September 23, 2020
AG-330 AG-330 Permafrost and Periglacial Environments (10 ECTS) Spring semester (March–April), every second year. Next course: 2021
AG-334 AG-334 Arctic Basins and Petroleum Provinces (10 ECTS) Spring semester (April–May), every second year. Cancelled in 2020.
AG-335 AG-335 Arctic Seismic Exploration (10 ECTS) Spring semester (March–April), every second year (2019–2021–2023). In addition, the course will run in 2020. March 4, 2020
AG-336 AG-336 Rift Basin Reservoirs: From Outcrop to Model (10 ECTS) Autumn semester (September–October), every second year. Next course: 2021. September 2, 2019
AG-338 AG-338 Sedimentology Field Course – from Depositional Systems to Sedimentary Architecture (10 ECTS) Autumn semester (June–July), every second year. Next course: 2020 June 2, 2020
AG-340 AG-340 Arctic Glaciers and Melt Season Dynamics (10 ECTS) Autumn semester (August–September), every second year. Next course: 2021 August 8, 2019
AG-342 AG-342 The Marine Cryosphere and its Cenozoic History (10 ECTS) Spring semester (April–May), every second year. Next course: 2020 April 15, 2020
AG-346 AG-346 Snow and Avalanche Dynamics (10 ECTS) Spring semester (March–April), every second year. Next course: 2021
AG-348 AG-348 Arctic Late Quaternary Glacial and Marine Environmental History (10 ECTS) Autumn semester (August–September), every second year. Next course: 2020 August 17, 2020
AG-349 AG-349 Geological Constraints on CO2 Storage (5 ECTS) Autumn semester (June–July), annually. Cancelled in 2020.
AG-350 AG-350 Arctic Glaciers and Landscapes (10 ECTS) Autumn semester (July–August), every second year. Next course: 2020 July 9, 2020
AG-351 AG-351 Arctic Tectonics and Volcanism (10 ECTS) Autumn semester (June–July), annually. June 7, 2019

PhD Courses

ID Course Name Duration Start Date
AG-822 AG-822 Fold and Thrust Belts and Foreland Basin Systems (10 ECTS) Spring semester (April - May), every second year. Next course: 2020 April 15, 2020
AG-823 AG-823 Sequence Stratigraphy – a Tool for Basin Analysis (10 ECTS) Autumn semester (August–September), every second year. Next course: 2021 August 2, 2019
AG-825 AG-825 Glaciology (10 ECTS) Spring semester (February–March), annually. Cancelled in 2020.
AG-826 AG-826 Quaternary Glacial and Climate History of the Arctic (10 ECTS) Autumn semester (September–October), every second year. Next course: 2020 September 23, 2020
AG-830 AG-830 Permafrost and Periglacial Environments (10 ECTS) Spring semester (March–April), every second year. Next course: 2021
AG-834 AG-834 Arctic Basins and Petroleum Provinces (10 ECTS) Spring semester (April–May), every second year. Cancelled in 2020.
AG-835 AG-835 Arctic Seismic Exploration (10 ECTS) Spring semester (March–April), every second year (2019–2021–2023). In addition, the course will run in 2020. March 4, 2020
AG-836 AG-836 Rift Basin Reservoirs: From Outcrop to Model (10 ECTS) Autumn semester (September–October), every second year. Next course: 2021 September 2, 2019
AG-838 AG-838 Sedimentology Field Course – from Depositional Systems to Sedimentary Architecture (10 ECTS) Autumn semester (June–July), every second year. Next course: 2020 June 2, 2020
AG-842 AG-842 The Marine Cryosphere and its Cenozoic History (10 ECTS) Spring semester (April–May), every second year. Next course: 2020 April 15, 2020
AG-848 AG-848 Arctic Late Quaternary Glacial and Marine Environmental History (10 ECTS) Autumn semester (August–September), every second year. Next course: 2020 August 17, 2020
AG-849 AG-849 Geological Constraints on CO2 Storage (5 ECTS) Autumn semester (June–July), annually. Cancelled in 2020.
AG-850 AG-850 Arctic Glaciers and Landscapes (10 ECTS) Autumn semester (July–August), every second year. Next course: 2020 July 9, 2020
AG-851 AG-851 Arctic Tectonics and Volcanism (10 ECTS) Autumn semester (June–July), annually June 7, 2019

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